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Best Printers 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best Printers of 2018
There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options. If you get well acquainted with these basics, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a printers that suits your need. I’ve based my selection methodology on customer feedback, the size, functionality, and budget to meet various demands. Not all printers are created equal though.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this printers win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse.
Why did this printers come in second place?
The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this printers take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers.
Printers Buyer’s Guide
Printer Buying Guide: What to look for when printer shopping
Choosing the right printer can be a daunting task. There are several types of printing technologies to choose from, each suited for different needs. Printers come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny travel companions to work group workhorses; some are geared toward photographers, others are for multitaskers. And the many specifications for resolution and speed can be misleading. As a loose rule of thumb, inkjet printers like the HP Photosmart 75and the Canon Pixma MG3220 are a must for vibrant colors and long-lasting photos, whereas Canon’s ImageClass MF30and similar laser printers are best at producing speedy text documents. To get started, you’ll need to decide which of the following profiles best fits your user type.
For a more comprehensive index, be sure to check out our list of Best printers.
The home user demands a lot from a printer. The device must tackle everything from a book report to a newsletter to the occasional snapshot — all without breaking the budget. This is why the best choice is a versatile and affordable printer, such as a small-office/home-office color inkjet.
Any inkjet can print photos in color, but if you want results that approach professional photofinishing, you’ll need a printer designed to reproduce the dynamic range of a traditional photograph. If you consider the printer a critical aspect of your digital darkroom, you need to look at the gamut and characteristics of the ink set, the supported papers, the color-management tools, and the paper path options.
If you plan to purchase only one printer or are a serious hobbyist, a letter-size inkjet is your best bet, since it can also handle routine printing tasks. Some use thermal dye-transfer technology (also known as dye sublimation) in which heat changes the physical state of solid inks until they infuse specially coated paper, solidifying as they cool.
The alternative: If you’re into digital photography but also run a busy home office, consider a multifunction printer. Manufacturers of these all-in-ones have been working on improving photo output and scanning technology, and many offer multiple ink cartridges that save you money in the long term by allowing you to replace each color as it depletes, as opposed to purchasing a brand-new three-color cartridge every time one color runs out.
Additionally, most all-in-ones boast memory card slots and LCDs on which to preview prints and do light editing, in addition to connectivity options like Ethernet and wireless, with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print features in the upper tiers.
Small businesses can benefit from a jack-of-all-trades model like a multifunction or all-in-one printer. These space-saving devices come in both laser and inkjet models that also include a fax machine, copier, and scanner along with printing to round out the versatility.
Work group lasers are the obvious choice for your small business or team within a larger organization. Designed to juggle multiple print jobs, these systems have faster processors, more memory, and print engines that are capable of churning out more than 3pages per minute.
The alternative: A business-class inkjet may be sufficient if your team has modest printing needs, and most models support network printing and wireless connectivity. If you’re an employee bound for work-related travel and find yourself hunting for a printer, many manufacturers still produce special mobile printers that make for useful accessories on the road.
Most buyers start with a general notion of the type of printer they’ll need. The reason is that different printing technologies are suited for different printing needs and budgets. Below we’ll talk more about the basic types of printers and their pros and cons.
Sorting out the specs
When evaluating printers, the first thing you’re likely to see is a long list of specifications chock-full of acronyms such as dpi and ppm. Not only are all these specs confusing, but they also often have little or no bearing on the performance you’ll actually get in the real world. Here’s how to keep it all straight.
One of the most widely cited specifications, the resolution, refers to the maximum number of dots per inch (dpi) that can be printed, measured both horizontally and vertically. For example, a 600x600dpi laser printer lays down a 1-inch square composed of 600 dots both vertically and horizontally.
Frequently, you’ll see resolution with different values for horizontal and vertical. That’s because while the printhead has a fixed number and density of nozzles that determine the horizontal resolution, the vertical resolution is determined by the increments at which the paper feed mechanism can reliably move the paper through the printer.
This spec measures how many pages or photos per minute (ppm) a printer spits out. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. To come up with the fastest-possible speeds, some manufacturers test using basic text documents at the lowest-quality print settings (Draft mode) on plain paper — not exactly a real-world test. Based on our experience, you can expect to see about half the speed promised by the manufacturer.
In recent years, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed a set of standard documents and criteria for measuring and reporting print speed (here’s a marketing-speak-free description).
These are a mixed blessing. While all the manufacturers now report their speeds for a common test, and the standard mandates that all tests be done at the default settings, it doesn’t mandate that the manufacturers report what those default settings are. So the so-called “apples to apples” comparisons aren’t, and buyers are just as much in the dark as they ever were.
The best inkjet and laser printers including all in ones around
Looking for the best printer money can buy in 2018? You’ve come to the right place, as we’ve listed the top printers for home and office use. You can rest assured that only the very best printers are in this list, and we regularly update it with the latest models, so we’re here to make things easier when choosing the best printer for your needs as 201begins.
There are so many decent multi-purpose printers at very competitive prices these days, so you’re spoilt for choice when looking for a new printer. This is where our list of the best printers comes in, as we cut through the jargon to make buying your new printer as easy as possible.
We’ve also split this list into the best inkjet printers and the best laser printers, and we include standard printers as well as multi-function ones. No matter what type of printer you’re after, we have one for you, and our price comparison tool makes sure you get the best deals on the printer of your choice as well.
Check out what printers made it into our top best business printers roundup
Basic paper handling
The Deskjet 3630 is a decent printer for the price, offering reasonable print speeds and the ability to connect to mobile devices without breaking the bank. Just be wary as its ink cartridges can be priced when picked up from shops. It doesn’t quite have the build quality of HP’s more expensive Envy models, but if you’re looking for an initially cheap model that catches the eye when sat on a shelf, the Deskjet 3630 is a great option.
The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is a solid printer for small businesses and workgroups given its fast print speeds, solid print qualities and remote printing and scanning capabilities. Using the larger XL print cartridges, the WF-4630 delivers economical print costs that rival laser printers.
Expensive to run
Great for the traveling professional or someone who needs a small printer for occasional use, printing photos or using the scanner function. It’s a bit pricey to buy – and to run – but the flexibility and quality of the printouts is excellent.
Slow to print
If you’re looking for a great all-round printer which doesn’t skimp on print quality for your photographs, then we don’t think you will be disappointed by what the PIXMA TS9150, Canon’s flagship printer, has to offer.
While it’s certainly more expensive than some of the cheap two in one printers you can pick up, it’s not a bad price for something which produces high quality prints, especially if you only need to print at Aor below.
Best of all, the print quality here is stunning, and it also has an attractive design. While the looks of your printer may not seem that important, it does mean you don’t feel the need to try and hide it away out of sight if you’re using it at home.
This is a big and bulky printer, that would look more at home in an office than a house – but it’s a fantastic performer that can handle both Aand the larger Asizes. It’s cheap to run, and most importantly, the print quality is very good, making this a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for a fast and flexible printer.
Expensive for mono printing
We’ve come to expect simple setup and operation from Envy printers, and this one is no exception. It’s quiet, packs in a lot of features and delivers excellent print quality, especially on photo paper. We particularly like the ability to use smartphones as well as computers, and to connect wirelessly without a router.
Slow print speed
Once you’ve got the PM-400 up and running, you’ll have a ton of fun running off image after image. Although the print quality won’t win any awards for print quality, you’ll be proud to hang any of its prints on your wall or sit them on your desk.
The PM-400 is a delight to look at – not that this should heavily factor into which printer you should buy. It’s got a pretty bone white frame that tucks away neatly, and the 4-pound printer can be easily transported wherever you go.
You won’t get fancy features like wireless printing, duplexing or scanning, but if you don’t need all the frills of an all-in-one printer, the HP DeskJet 10offers solid print performance and quality at an unbeatable price in a compact package.
Fiddly control panel
This temptingly priced printer offers 28ppm printing at up to 4,800 x 600 dpi (effective, rather than optical, resolution). With wired (Ethernet/USB) and wireless (Wi-Fi/NFC) connectivity, duplex printing, decent eco settings and support for a wide range of media, the Samsung is an excellent all-rounder, although the multi-purpose tray can only handle one sheet of media at a time. The main cassette has a more useful capacity of 250 sheets.
Total cost of ownership
When buying a printer, remember that the price you pay in the store is just the beginning. Be sure to consider the cost of replenishing toner and other consumables over the lifetime of the printer. This is particularly important if you print a lot. A set of toner cartridges can easily approach the cost of a colour laser printer.
Most manufacturers quote a ‘page yield’ estimate for their ink cartridges, which is the typical number of pages you can expect to print before the cartridge runs out of ink. You can use the page yield to calculate the average cost per page and you’d be surprised to find how much this can vary from one printer to another.
Of course, if output quality matters more to you than cost, scoot over to the other end of the cost spectrum where there are more specialised printers that use five or even six inks for printing photographs. Those additional inks can produce excellent results for your photo prints, but they add to the cost, sometimes pushing the cost for photos up to 10p or more per page.
Print speed and additional features
Speeds quoted by manufacturers are almost never matched by real-world performance. If you often need to print in a hurry, look for independent reviews when choosing your printer.
Other useful features to look out for include additional USB ports and memory card slots that will allow you to print photos direct from a camera.
High-capacity paper trays capable of holding hundreds of sheets of paper, or an automatic document feeder that can handle scanning and copying work while you go and do something more important, may be worth looking out for.
Double-sided printing is handy for halving your paper usage.
It’s also worth thinking about the bundled software that comes with your printer. Some printers include software that provides basic editing features, such as red-eye removal or adjusting the colour balance – some even allow you to perform simple editing tasks using controls on the printer itself.
Ideal for home office and business use. They tend to be larger in size. printers?
These combine a scanner, photocopier and printer in one unit (some even include a fax machine). They’re available in both inkjet and laser printer varieties.
The only way to get photo-quality prints is with a dedicated photo printer. These use additional colour cartridges to produce more colour detail.
Most printer manufacturers offer apps you can install on your mobile devices so you can print from them directly.
Many printers are also compatible with Apple Airprint (for Apple devices) and Google Cloud Print (for Android devices).
Choosing the Right Barcode Printer
Thermal based barcode printers provide a very economical way to create high quality labels, tags, wristbands, receipts, and tickets. Compared to other printing technologies, thermal-based options require less maintenance, have less expensive media, and print faster while maintaining excellent print quality.
Since these types of printers are different from your typical laser or inkjet printers, it can be a challenge to know which one will fit your business best. The first step in finding the right printer is to identify your specific need(s): • Where will the printer be used? Is it a rugged environment? • What kind of media will you make? Labels, tags, wristbands, receipts, or tickets? • How often will you print? • Will the printer be in a fixed or mobile application?
Knowing how you’ll be using a printer will help you decide what type, print method, and other features you’ll need. Understanding and going through the following features will help you determine the best printer for your needs.
Industrial printers are larger and more rugged than desktop models for high volume print applications. From a couple thousand labels per day to printing all day long, these printers are designed to hold more media and there are models that support printing from.5″ to over 8″ wide. You’ll find printers like the Datamax I-420in manufacturing and distribution centers as well as large retailers. If you are printing any type of media in large volumes, industrial label printers are your most reliable option.
Mobile printers are similar to thermal label printers but provide freedom from any cable connections to a PC. Mobile printers do have a few limitations due to their small size. They are not made for very high volumes, have limited roll capacity, and have smaller print widths, usually 2″, 3″, or 4″ max. However, if you need to make labels or receipts on the move, a mobile printer will provide you high quality print in a compact package that fits on your hip. These printers are perfect for delivery drivers or sales agents to create receipts in the field or a warehouse worker that needs to make labels on the spot. Since these printers are not tied to a fixed PC, you normally communicate to them wirelessly through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Pair a mobile printer like the Zebra QLn320 with a laptop, mobile computer, or smartphone for printing wherever you go!
Even though standard label printers can also create wristbands, a dedicated wristband printer offers several advantages and a lower overall cost. For applications that are making wristbands every day like hospitals, theme parks, and concert venues, a dedicated wristband printer is the perfect fit. While other printers have their media on a roll, wristband printers have cartridges that simply drop into place to keep you printing with almost no downtime. These printers also have a higher print resolution standard for clear, accurate printing of images or logos. Added to this, most models have a special anti-microbial case to meet the demands of any healthcare environment. If you need custom printed wristbands on a regular basis, a dedicated wristband printer like the Zebra HC100 will be the most efficient and easiest to use solution.
Ticket printers are another specialized thermal printer that excels at printing on thicker paper for ticketing applications. If you are making tickets for concerts, festivals, or any other type of event, a dedicated printer will help you make them faster with less hassle. Since most tickets come in a fan-folded stack instead of rolls, these printers have a taller case to accommodate more stacked media. They can also still use roll media but with a larger stack of tickets you will spend less time reloading the printer. These printers also have an opening on the back of the case to easily feed ticket stock externally. Models like Datamax ST-32are a high performance option for demanding ticketing applications.
Direct thermal printers utilize heat-sensitive media that blackens as it passes under the printhead. Because they print without a ribbon, direct thermal printers are noted for their simplicity. Direct thermal printed labels typically have a considerable shelf life but are not well suited for environments that expose them to heat, long periods of direct sunlight or abrasion. Because of this, thermal labels, tags or ticket stock are often top coated to resist these elements. Direct thermal printing produces sharp print quality with good scan ability using only one consumable. For any short term labeling application, like shipping labels, direct thermal is the most efficient print method.
Thermal transfer printers use a ribbon, similar to a fax machine, which is melted onto the label by the printhead. This method makes it easy to use label materials beyond paper including synthetic materials, like polypropylene and polyester, for outdoor and harsh environments. Beyond the added durability, thermal transfer printed media also has a very long shelf life making it perfect for product labels, asset tags, and outdoor wristbands. Since you are using a ribbon, you also have the option to change the color of your print beyond just black. With the right combination of labels and ribbon, you can make a label for any environment or application. Though it does cost a little more to print thermal transfer media, the added benefits ensure your label or tag is readable throughout its life without ever needing to reprint.
Canon Pixma TS8050
While the Pixma TS8050 might seem slightly pricy at first, its photo printing performance is strong enough that it will likely to appeal to anyone who needs to print plenty of images.
Conversely, in our review we found that text printing ran slightly heavier than we expected, and wasn’t as crisp as we hoped, so anyone who just wants to print documents should probably steer clear: this is one for the photographers out there.
Despite the six-ink system, running costs are much lower than we feared, especially if you opt for the high-yield cartridges, which takes the edge off the high starting price, and the additional inks left our photos with great contrast and bright, bold colours.
It supports both Wi-Fi and AirPrint, so it’s ideal if you want to print photos straight from your iPhone or iPad. There’s also a built-in scanner and copier, and it has separate trays for both photo paper and CDs and other discs, giving you a few more options.
HP OffficeJet 7510
Most printers aimed at home users and small businesses only go up to Apaper size, but it can often be handy to print in the larger Aformat, perhaps for marketing materials or for posters and calendars at home.
HP describes the OfficeJet 75as a ‘personal print shot’ as it’s one of the most affordable A3/Aprinters available. It was around £12when we first reviewed it but its price has since dropped significantly. It’s a real bargain if you need the occasional Aprint.
The OfficeJet 75also includes a scanner, copier and even a fax machine (remember those?), with a 35-sheet automatic document feeder too. The printer includes USB and WiFi connectivity, along with an Ethernet interface for an office network, and it supports AirPrint for iOS devices. The only thing missing is automatic duplex (two-sided) printing – although there is a manual duplex option available if you don’t mind flipping the pages over yourself.
Print quality is very good, and we were pleasantly surprised by the cost of the replacement ink cartridges too, especially because they are XL size so can print up to 1000 pages.
The OfficeJet 75is a good option for anyone that needs a versatile colour printer that can handle anything from 4xpostcards up to Aposters.
Canon Pixma iP2850
This printer is one we’ve reviewed right here at Macworld towers. With a price of around £35, the iP2850 is certainly one of the cheapest inkjet printers. However, its low price does mean that it’s pretty basic compared with many of the multifunction printers that are now available.
You won’t get a built-in scanner or copier, and there’s no WiFi either, so you’ll have to connect it directly to your Mac using one of those old-fashioned USB cable thingies. And of course, the lack of WiFi means there’s no option for printing to an iPhone or iPad.
Still, keeping things simple keeps the cost down, and it also means that the iP2850 is nice and compact too. It’s one for bargain hunters who aren’t looking for much more than a printer that can print stuff. Print quality is good for a printer in this price range, but it’s pretty slow.
HP Officejet 3830
Despite its low price, the OfficeJet 3830 includes a printer, scanner, copier and fax machine, so it covers all the main document-handling features that you’re likely to need in a home office or small business. It includes USB and WiFi connectivity, and is one of the cheapest printers we’ve reviewed that includes Apple’s AirPrint for printing from an iPhone or iPad.
Our only minor complaint is the lack of automatic duplex (two-sided) printing, although there aren’t many printers in this price range that do include that option.
Text quality isn’t quite as good as some of the more expensive inkjet we’ve seen, but it’s perfectly adequate for routine documents such as letters and school reports. Photo quality is very good, though, and the OfficeJet 3830 can certainly handle a few holiday snaps on glossy paper or marketing materials for work.
Epson Ecotank ET-2500
The Ecotank printers first launched in 201introduced a completely new approach to printing. Instead of selling the printer cheaply and then charging high prices for the replacement ink cartridges, Epson bumped up the price of the Ecotank printers but really cut the cost of the inks.
You’re looking at a price of around £230 for most of the Ecotank range, so it’s no small investment. That’s expensive compared with many inkjet printers, but the large ink tank bolted onto the side of the printer contains enough ink to print 4000 pages in black and white or 6500 pages in colour.
Epson estimates that’s enough for the equivalent of two years for the average home user, but much longer for some. Replacement inks are cheap too, at around £30.
We tested the Epson Ecotank ET-2500, and found that print quality is good thanks to the high resolution. You’ll get a scanner and copier too, as well as WiFi, a USB port and the AirPrint support for use with iOS devices.
Some people might think twice about paying more than £200 for a printer to use at home, but the Ecotank printers are still great value for home workers or small businesses that need to print a lot of documents on a regular basis.
Defining FDM 3D Printers
The great thing about FDM is that its able to build 3D parts in just about any geometry. This is why a lot of private users and wide-ranging industries use the technology. You can find FDM prototypes and parts in aerospace companies, automotive industries, and many others. In short, FDM printers produce highly accurate, functional, and durable parts.
Now you may be wondering why the two points above are advantages? The answer is simple.
Our 3D printers in this section are great value-for-money machines. Each of our picks here will provide you with a fun and invaluable experience. Get your feet wet and grab a more expensive machine after you learn the basics.
Most new users are not ready to print in two colors in the beginning. Even so, if you plan to be more creative later on this printer is a good choice. The Mini G2s also has the ability to print in various specialty filaments. Some of these include wood and nylon.
FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro
The next step after the original entry level FlashForge Creator, the Creator Pro is a very affordable 3D printer with multiple capabilities for manufacturing 3D objects. It’s intended for a more advanced user, like an intermediate level and it has some great overall features that make this printer one you shouldn’t miss if you’re in the market for one.
The all black design of the printer looks clean and professional, very smoothly finished. In the front of the device there is a clear and sleek acrylic panel that fills it, and inside there is a blue LED light which helps to get a better view of your project during printing. An observer can thus watch the process of turning raw ABS or PLA plastic into an object directly, making the process seem more cool and interesting. It’s a pretty neat little feature that adds to the experience of 3D printing. The FlashForge Creator Pro possesses a control interface on a shiny LCD panel to be able to see the state of the current operation. You can find it just below the acrylic panel together with a bunch of buttons for easy manipulation. We’ll talk about the software side for a bit but before that, let’s look at the actual manufacturing potential of this 3D printer.
With a reasonably generous size, the Creator Pro has enough space to build anything from prototypes to replacement components. The fabrication delivery mechanism is compatible with the two most popular thermoplastics used in the industry: ABS short for Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and PLA or Polylactic acid. The layering process is fairly precise, the materials can be loaded on spools and then directed through the dual-extruder at a decent 30-160 mm per second. The deposits of 100-300 Micron thick are achieved by a high-quality system of guides and rods and thanks to a flat aluminum plate. This plate along with the steel chassis and dual-spool feeds allows for a quick and efficient way to remove any excess heat which grants the device the ability to produce high-quality objects in a short amount of time.
The machine’s software is very versatile and compatible with all the popular operating systems including Linux so no issues there as most people should be covered. The operations are realized through the open source Replicator G or MakerWare software. Some of the input file types supported are STL and gcode. For connectivity, there is an SD card slot and also printing can be done over a wired USB cable.
With so much potential for creativity and such efficient print chamber operations, the FlashForge Creator Pro has all the features to make the list of best 3D printers. With a more than fair price given its reliability and the high-quality standards for its construction and ease of use, this is a solid winner in case you are looking for an efficient 3D printer with a strong value for money ratio.
Flash Forge Finder 3D Printer
Considered the perfect starter 3D printer, The FlashForge Finder really has a lot to offer for a considerably low cost. Combined with the straightforward „plug & play” approach to printing, this is really the definitive choice for amateurs, hobbyists and 3D printing enthusiasts who love to experiment at home.
The body of this device is just like in the picture, square shaped like a box but with rounded corners and edges. It is compact with a minimalistic design, nothing too flashy or complicated. Despite the general plastic feel of the frame, the printer seems to be sturdy enough for all your printing experiments. The print bed also acts as a sliding tray which can be inserted and removed without much effort.
To make an intuitive user interface, FlashForge installed a colorful LCD panel where you can toggle different options like loading and unloading the filament or if you’d like to level the print bed automatically. This feature works great to simplify the calibrating process of the printer bed and setting the best resolutions for your printer by correcting any warping issues or imperfections which can occur on the PLA parts.
With this printer, you don’t have many options material-wise as this machine only accepts one type of filament, 1.7mm PLA. This is perfectly safe and great around kids too because it’s completely non-toxic. The simplifying process goes further this way as the Finder does not require a heated print bed for more toxic materials such as ABS. The speed of the printing is fairly average, oscillating between 40 to 200 mm per second. One great feature of this 3D printer is the MK brass nozzle combined with a thermal barrier guide tube which helps tremendously to make a more efficient extrusion process. No big issues with the noise level were detected which was going as low as 50 dB.
Connectivity for this device is also possible through Wi-Fi besides USB and that’s quite convenient if you intend to manage the FlashForge Finder over your local network. The onboard memory is GB, spacious enough to transfer files using an USB cable and then simply untether the printer from the PC. Worth mentioning the fact that the special Flash Print the machine comes with is easy to use, designed for maximum accessibility.
The printing quality is on par with the reasonable pricing of this model which should not exceed any casual 3D printing enthusiast’s budget. It’s very clear that FlashForge made a lot of effort to simplify the printing operations and overall I’d say it was a successful attempt. To conclude, basically this printer has some promising qualities, an excellent value for your money and it’s highly recommended for any projects.
DIY RepRap Guru Prusa IV3D Printer Kit
Building a printer from zero can be a challenging task as you need to gather lots of parts individually and the cost can easily add up. Thankfully, the Prusa Ikit exists precisely to simplify this endeavor. The actual work you have to do to assemble the components depends on how much knowledge you have and despite the initial impression, the guides are very comprehensive and in a few days, you can have a printer that you built yourself. It’s good for beginners and if you’re on a budget, but there are also other advantages to buying a DIY kit like the Prusa I3.
One aspect you should consider is the way you gain a very intimate knowledge of how all parts interact and function together. If you really have a passion for the amazing engineering behind the workings of these machines is definitely worth the time to get accustomed to the process of bringing a 3D printer to life. If you’re new to 3D printing this is the way to go if you just want to test out the technology without spending thousands of dollars. There is also the possibility of upgrading and modifying the printer although you can get decent prints without necessarily doing that but it’s nice to know that you have this option.
There is hardly anything else to add, this is an affordable kit, a bit difficult at times to assemble but after some learning, you will discover that it’s impeccable, the parts are of very high quality and because of that it holds out very well and using it can actually be a fun experience. The chances of failure are low for printing and the results are usually excellent and even without the rigidity of the more expensive and commercially available machines, it does not disappoint. To summarize, this kit offers a lot for its price and it has some massive creative potential for those who are just starting to get into 3D printers.
Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer
The Dremel Idea Builder is a 3D printer manufactured by the US-based company Dremel, an established brand of power tools. Although it only prints using PLA filaments this isn’t as bad as it seems because the device comes with some interesting features over its competitors that make this printer worth to check out.
Idea Builder is a great entry-level printer designed to produce quality prints in the most simple and efficient way possible. It promises to deliver a plug and play experience so let’s take a closer look at its ease of use first. Setting it up out of the box is a piece of cake and just like that, you can start printing immediately. After the first time you boot the printer you are greeted by a nice user interface on an easy to navigate touchscreen which will guide you through the loading and unloading process of the filament. The steps to begin printing are thus quite straightforward: plug it in, level the build platform, install the filament and choose a model. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. What’s interesting to mention is that the Idea Builder comes preloaded with lots of objects on the included SD card ranging from functional to structural pieces that can get printed before you even install the software.
The ease of use is one strong point of this 3D printer but what can be said about its structural design choices? As you can observe from the picture, the device is fully enclosed with panels on each side that you can remove and a front window that stays closed with the help of two little magnets. This way, the printer can operate more quietly and if this is not enough, it also comes with a top cover. There is programmable LED lighting inside the printer that adds a nice touch to the design. With a detachable build platform comes the added convenience of removing your finished project with more ease. Overall, the design of this machine is simple and easy to maintain clean and its size fitting for a home 3D printer if that would be your intended use.
There is no heated build platform but this shouldn’t be a big deal as the Idea Builder only uses PLA filament which remains a great option for everyday printing. The printer can hit standard resolutions around 100 microns so you won’t have any issues in terms of quality compared to similarly-priced printers. It can achieve fairly average printing speeds, up to 150mm/s which is decent enough. You are not going to use a printer at very high speeds anyway because of the degrading of the quality. Known for making quality power tools, Dremel took special care with the reliability of this 3D printer. It ranks very high because of the small chance of project failures. The printer acts like a powerful workhorse and deals with any arising problem efficiently. For example, if you run out of filament during a printing you can simply load a new one and the machine just goes back to work without having to start over or other complications. The reliability of the Idea Builder has great potential to exceed your expectations so keep this aspect in mind if you’re finding it difficult to make a purchase decision.
Dremel’s Idea Builder offers top-quality hardware at a very reasonable price perfect for those enthusiasts who are already familiar with the basics of 3D printing but also friendly enough to those new to 3D printing. The support options for this printer should cover all your needs through helpful tutorials and a comprehensive manual. This level of accessibility when it comes to getting the printer up and running make from the Ideal Builder a great budget option for any professional or home setting.
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Who should get this
But be warned that no 3D printer is unbreakable. A day will come when you’ll need to replace a part or get your hands dirty in some other way. You might want to avoid 3D printing altogether if you have a tough time with minor fixes to appliances.
Prospective buyers should also be aware that the 3D printing industry is constantly in a state of upheaval. It’s not out of the question that you might someday find yourself without much support from a company. It’s also possible that a new breakthrough will suddenly leave you with outdated technology.
In this article
3dPrinter, 3dPrinting, diy, do it yourself, doityourself, gadgetry, gadgets, gear, Monoprice, MonopriceMakerSelect, partner, sydicated, syndicated, thewirecutter, tiertime, TiertimeUpMini2, wirecutter
Reasons To Use A Pen Over A Printer
A printer is accurate and rigid and helps you make virtual designs of objects you want to create whereas a pen is fluid and free-type which supports freestyle hand-drawings. Printers need a 3D file to give form to something whereas pens enable users to draw any object or structure out of their imagination.
Ways to use a 3D printing pen
There is a lot that you can do with 3D pens. They can be used for artistic and decorative works; and also for minor repair works when combined with 3D printers. The most common applications of 3D printing pens include building mini Eiffel towers, homes, ornaments, pendants, and drawing objects like phones, laptops, and iPhone cases.
Scribbler 3D Printing Pen V3
As the name suggests, Scribbler 3D printing pen Vis an advanced version of the popular Scribbler Pen, and it has been in the market for quite some time grabbing the attention of many art lovers worldwide. One of the most striking features of this pen is that it is built with great design and impressive ergonomics which make drawing a lot easy and fun-filled.
Scribbler 3D printing pen Vcomes in multiple colors, but even if you are a beginner, you can save yourself endless hours of research and comparison by using shades of different colors in the same pen. At present, the 3D pen comes in eight attractive colors which include yellow, blue, green, white, red, and purple.
We tried the pen and found out a few things from a user’s perspective. The pen is extremely lightweight and easy to use. We’d say it’s a great choice for kids, teens, and beginners. If you have problems in changing the filament, just skip the process. The pen is designed to easily work without causing any fuss.
Now, find out how you can become an awesome artist by using the Scribbler Pen.
Frankly speaking, Scribbler 3D Pen Vdoesn’t have any major downsides as such. It passed most of our tests with flying colors. But, first-time 3D pen users might struggle a bit because the drawing is different from what you are accustomed to practicing all these years, so you need to learn how to use 3D pen for drawing before you start using them. That apart, the pen is awesome. Fun and learning guaranteed!
Lix 3D Smart Pen – Extremely lightweight and responsive
Lix shook the 3D world when it launched the smallest 3D printing pen in the world. It’s one of those pens that got appreciation from both fans and critics. Our team was lucky to get one and be able to review this stunning 3D printing pen, which was initially launched through the company’s kickstarter campaign.
So, are you curious to know what our impressions are about this pint-sized 3D pen? Read on and find out the details.
Just like you, we were thinking how this ridiculously small pen would perform, but in the end, we were pleasantly surprised by how well the pen scored in our review tests. We ran multiple tests even using the pen in a quiet environment to see if it was like one of the other noisy pens out there in the market, but it proved to be one that is perfectly suited to be used in quiet places and any environment for that matter. The handle is pretty impressive, and the pen worked well in almost all surfaces that we used.
One of the other noticeable characteristics of the Lix 3D smart pen is the fact that it is works via a USB cable which is different from the other 3D pens that required a power brick for power. That calls for constant plugging, which can be a bit frustrating for some users. If you are like me, then you’ll enjoy using Lix 3D printing pen conveniently without any hassle. The pen remains charged for until it is powered up by the power source. If you wish to charge your Lix 3D smart pen on the go, then a power bank will do the job for you. Super easy, right?
When going through a review, it’s natural that you will want to weigh the pros and cons before purchasing the product. But trust me, despite conducting multiple tests, I couldn’t find any drawback of the Lix 3D printing pen. It looks to be a clear winner and a perfect choice for 3D pen lovers and Lix fans alike. It’s certainly one that is worth buying.
CCbetter Intelligent Pen
Before we get into the details of CCbetter Intelligent Pen, please note that it is also called Joyluxy Intelligent 3D. We’d like to start off saying that this is definitely right up there as one of the most complete 3D pens 201in the market, and we’re excited to review it. When it comes to features and performance, the pen has all the elements that any 3D pen lover would look for in a top notch pen. Let’s review Joyluxy’s
CCbetter Intelligent 3D printing pen in depth.
The pen is packed in a relatively thin box that is only as big as a smartphone box. In the box, there is the regular power brick with the two packed filaments. However, as mentioned earlier, users who prefer new filaments can always purchase them separately.
The makers have included a stand in the kit in which users can put their pens on when not in use. Going by user-friendliness and performance, we would say the pen is easily suitable for beginners and regular users alike. We tried drawing on a range of surfaces, and the pen performed extremely well in all of them. It also includes an OLED which has something like a status indicator to alert the user when the filament gets heated up and is ready for drawing. It’s sure a tough competitor to all the other 3D pens in the market.
Coming to the downside, we didn’t find any noticeable flaw when we started using the pen. However, from a common user’s perspective, we felt that a more detailed user manual would be highly beneficial for beginners and more so for people who are hesitant to go for 3D pens without clear instructions. That apart, we would say that the pen performed very well in several tests.
Taking the pros and cons into account, it still looks like Joyluxy’s CCBetter Intelligent 3D Pen is one of the most impressive pens of its type in the market, and certainly worth putting your money into.
Doodler 3D Printing Pen
I wouldn’t deny that there is a learning curve the user has to go through before using this pen like a pro. Don’t get carried away by the videos you see on YouTube, it’s not that simple. You’ll need a cardboard, paper, or any other surface to draw (and probably a cup of coffee) for a brisk start.
Okay, shifting our focus to the important things, 3Doodler 3D printing pen is amazing for a number of reasons. The first and foremost is that it consists of 50 plastic filaments. Design-wise and feel-wise, the pen is cool. Whether it’s worth the price or not, here is a fair review.
First off, we found that the pen’s name is unique and it is also the world’s first 3D printing pen. When it comes to appearance, it pen looks better than most other 3D pens that we have seen over the days. When drawing, the filaments don’t get clogged – there are 50 of them and replacement is easy.
First off, we found that the pen’s name is unique and it is also the world’s first 3D printing pen. In terms of appearance, it looks better than most other 3D pens that we have seen over the days. While drawing, the filaments don’t get clogged – there are 50 of them and replacement is damn easy.
We tried drawing on multiple surfaces, and the pen worked just fine on all of them. It’s user-friendly. If you are an experienced user, you’ll be at ease when using the pen, and if you are a beginner, then there is a bit of learning curve to go through. However, it’s fun and engaging.
Frankly speaking, there is nothing to complain about with this pen. You might want to do some nitpicking from a critic’s standpoint but again, this pen overcomes the drawbacks that we find in most other 3D Pens.
Coming back to
Glyby Intelligent 3D pens, we would say that kids in your home are going to love this one more than the other 3D pens. It has sufficient features to keep them immersed in a world of joy for a long time. But, if your kids are too young, then make sure to supervise them so that things don’t go wrong.
There is no major drawback about Glyby Intelligent 3D printing pen as such. Since it’s designed for the kids, it does a great job in being a kid’s best 3D friend. Of course, there is a range of other 3D printing pens out there in the market, but most of them are expensive, so Glyby Intelligent 3D printing pen takes the cake when you bring in the budget factor. If you wish to surprise your kids with a perfect birthday present, reward them for scoring high marks in exams, or help them learn some amazing stuff, then this pen should make a great choice.
As we all know, the primary purpose of using a 3D pen is to draw beautiful structures out of creativity. Design, ease of handling, filament conversion, and performance are among the most important things you need to compare among different 3D pens. These are the standard parameters in 3D pens comparison. To go a step further, make sure to look for add-ons like the standby mode and cooling type which can help you differentiate the best from the ordinary. Even bigger LCD screens can come in handy depending on your requirements. Then, there is the new filament jamming alert feature in some pens to let users control things at just the right time. There are also other options like LED and thermal management in smart 3D pens. Let’s take a more elaborate look at some of them. Type of control
The better the control your 3D pen gives you, the better is its quality. For example, there are pens where there is a temperature control option to melt the plastic filament for better drawing. Even the speed is controllable while drawing. Some pens have a custom feed that help you control the speed and flow of filament while drawing. It is said that adjustable temperature makes drawings more targeted and advanced which was a limitation in the early model 3D pens. Overall, features related to control are only designed to take your 3D drawing experience to a whole new level. Design
When it comes to design, an ergonomic design is what every user is looking for when buying 3D pens at present. But yeah, models like the Lix haven’t met their expectations in this area yet. Slimmer 3D models are more popular among buyers than bulky 3D pens. The finest pens are super lightweight and pocket-sized and can even be recharged with the USB cable. Design is what determines your handle, and makes you feel good as you draw using your 3D pen. Having a lightweight, easy to grip 3D pen will only help translate your ideas smoothly in the form of 3D objects in the air and on surfaces. The Filament
What filament type you use also determines the output of your drawing to a large extent. From the way you hold the pen to which grip you should be using, the filament type determines a range of factors. The plastic in the filament is what melts and allows you to draw different objects. Today there are dozens of them out there, so you can always compare and choose the one which best suits your needs. Best of all, filaments are replaceable and so if you are not happy with the one in your 3D pen, you can always buy a better filament separately. Readily replaceable filaments are said to last longer than those that aren’t. Keep in mind that there are four major types of filaments in the market. They are specialty, standard, composite, and flexible. Brand and manufacturer
Yes, brand name makes a big difference when it comes to buying 3D pens. The world’s first 3D printing pen was introduced by 3Doodler and Scribbler topped it up with a 6-month warranty to encourage new users to try the model out. Lix went the extra mile in terms of innovation. Likewise, every brand has been and is unique in its own way. Before buying a 3D pen, make sure that you compare the top brands and the best range of 3D pen models from each brand. This will help you make a better purchasing decision even if you are a first-time buyer. Customer Reviews
What the first thing you do before purchasing a product? Check online reviews? Well, hold on a bit. That might not be the only way to find the best 3D printing pen for your need. Each pen has its own reputation in the market and choosing the best all depends on what you want and whether your pen has it all. It’s never a bad idea to browse online reviews, but word of mouth would be much better. If any of your friends or colleagues has bought a 3D pen and is happy to recommend the one to you, then it’s worth buying. Of course, after checking if it fulfills your requirements in terms of design, features, performance, and budget.
QIDI TECH 3DP-QDA16-0– Perfect 3D Printer
Why don’t you check detailed reviews of these models that we have picked. Oh! Don’t worry, you can trust us!
Sorting out these models from a jungle of 3D printer makers was not an easy thing. But, we were determined to find the models that actually worked. Here is the at a glance review of them.
No-0Reprap Prusa IV– For High Definition Printing
If you think that you are not gonna go with the Select Mini and would raise your budget a bit higher then the Prusa IVis your best option. What we think it’s just a better version that would produce better 3D replication.
No-0QIDI TECH 3DP-QDA16-0– Perfect 3D Printer
If you want a printer that you are going to use for a long time and expect high definition results each and every time then the 3DP-QDA1by Qidi Technology should be your top pick. The most striking feature of the printer is its great heat management system.
Features to Look for in 3D Printers
If you really want to have a 3D printer under 500 in your home then you should definitely know these things. The main thing is that there are a lot of difference in features between an entry level 3D printer and a professional one. That’s why we will not set the bar too high for personal 3D replicators.
Almost all the third dimensional printers aim at making high detailed replication. If your printer can’t come up with high detailed replication of your digital design then it should require a level of post processing to get a proper finishing.
But there are some printers that deliver a smooth and rich finishing and for that you will not be needing any sort of refining. For actual knowledge about the level of details you have to see the things that have been printed on them. Check for tough edges and smoothness also. Remember, post processing a 3D printed thing in home might not be possible every time. (Like you are going to have a sand blasting machine in home)
First of all the model of printers that you are going to bring home has the highest possibility of being a FDM machine and these machines have the reputation of being the slowest 3D printers. There is also another point here that we should consider. The speed of the printer also varies on the complexity of the digital design that you input. The printer must be able to handle the complex design also.
The speed of the unit also depends on the number of the extruders that do most of the job of the printing. If you get a printer that has more than one nozzles or extruder, be sure that it will be a fast printer.
Even after that there are some models that come up with an object faster than other printers. Check the review section if you want to individually know more about the speed of the printers.
Software & Control Panel
The designing of a 3D printer can be done on the software that comes with the printer. If you want more details in your design then you should use software like CAD. The printer must be able to accept the design and software is not the only part that is the issue here.
A printer must come with a handy and easy user interface to execute the print command and do set up other necessary things. The control panel should be easy to understand, have a big display and be intuitive.
However, there are models that do not have a display. For them a good controlling command software is pretty much important.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Printers wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Printers
- №1 — Canon MX492 Wireless All-IN-One Small Printer with Mobile or Tablet Printing
- №2 — HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing
- №3 — HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing